FILE - This Sept. 16, 2016 file image made from a video shows the 18-karat toilet, titled "America," by Maurizio Cattelan in the restroom of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Thieves have stolen the solid gold toilet worth up to 1 million pounds from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The toilet, the work of Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan, had been installed only two days earlier at Blenheim Palace, west of London, after previously being on show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. (AP Photo, File)

Solid gold toilet stolen from Winston Churchill's birthplace

September 14, 2019 - 9:21 am

LONDON (AP) — Thieves have stolen a solid gold toilet worth up to 1 million pounds ($1.25 million) from the birthplace of British wartime leader Winston Churchill.

The toilet, the work of Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan, had been installed only two days earlier at Blenheim Palace, west of London, after previously being shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Police said the toilet was taken early Saturday by thieves who used at least two vehicles. Because the golden toilet had been connected to the palace's plumbing system, police said its removal caused "significant damage and flooding" to the building, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A 66-year-old man was arrested, but the toilet was not recovered.

Prior to the theft, visitors to the Cattelan exhibition could book a three-minute appointment to use the toilet.

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